South African Airways (SAA) has announced a new flight schedule that will see non-stop flights to New York, as well as an increase in flights to African countries, as part of the airline’s network expansion plan.
“Effective May 1, 2011, we will offer our customers the convenience of flying non-stop between Johannesburg and New York,” says Theunis Potgieter, SAA’s General Manager: Commercial. “Our non-stop flights to New York will allow a full day in Johannesburg with an early morning arrival in New York. Further, the reduced travel time result in fast and efficient connections to several key US destinations such as Boston, Chicago, Florida, California, as well as Canada and the Caribbean.”
The non-stop flight from Johannesburg to New York (SA203) will depart OR Tambo International Airport daily at 20h35 (SA local time) arriving John F. Kennedy International Airport at 06h40 (New York local time), whilst the non-stop flights from New York (SA204) will depart daily at 11h15 arriving in OR Tambo International Airport at 08h40.
“SAA now offers the fastest and most comfortable way to commute between Southern Africa and this major global hub. Travellers originating from other domestic points and Southern African countries like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, and Zambia and as far north as Kenya and Tanzania, can now be in New York with a single, quick connection via Johannesburg”, says Potgieter. This new service will further strengthen Johannesburg’s position as the major aviation hub in Sub Saharan Africa. SAA will utilize the Airbus 340-600 on this ultra long haul operation.
SAA currently is finalizing all outstanding operational details for the northbound non-stop flight on the Johannesburg to New York route.
SAA is also enhancing its African schedules due to increased demand for its services on the continent, and will introduce wide body Airbus A340 flights to Kenya and Namibia. From March 27 SAA will introduce wide body services between Johannesburg and Windhoek, Namibia on seven of its 20 weekly services, increasing the number of the airline’s seats available on this route from 5830 to 6746. SAA says these services are perfectly timed for connections to and from Frankfurt, Munich, London and New York via Johannesburg. Starting from February 27, the airline will operate a wide body aircraft between Johannesburg and Nairobi, Kenya. SAA will operate a daily frequency to Nairobi with an increase in seats from 2918 to 3500 per week.
“Our customers traveling to and from both Nairobi and Windhoek on the new wide bodied aircraft will now enjoy, amongst other world class features, a lie flat seat and more space in business class, more space in economy class, preferential flight schedules and a host of other value added benefits; consistent with that which our customers have come to expect from us as the national carrier”, says Potgieter.
In the rest of Africa, SAA will increase the frequency of its flights to Entebbe, Uganda from six to daily flights with the introduction of a new Tuesday service, effective from March 29. It will also add an additional flight to Harare, Zimbabwe which will operate on Tuesdays and will be effective from March 29 bringing the total number of frequencies to 18 per week.
On the domestic market, SAA will increase the seats available on the Johannesburg to Cape Town route by operating an additional scheduled flight on a wide body aircraft.